What are we doing to ensure your safety during your journey with us?


This post was last updated on July 5th, 2022

Travel requirements for Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

Can I travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands?

Yes. Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands have been open for travel since July 2020.

What are the current travel restrictions for entry to Ecuador and Galapagos?

  • Travelers aged 3 and older must provide proof (card with QR code or certificate) of COVID-19 vaccination (full series), completed at least 14 days prior to arriving in Ecuador.
  • Or… a negative RT-PCR result on a test administered within 72 hours of boarding their flight to Ecuador. This requirement also applies for entry to Galapagos. Should the time requirement for connecting flights from Ecuador’s mainland to the Galapagos Islands expire, an additional test will be needed from an authorized laboratory.
  • Traveler health declaration filled out in advance, online (available via Ecuador’s Ministry of Public Health website). A printed version can also be filled out before or upon arrival.
  • An additional requirement for Galapagos is the “transit control card” issued by the Government of Galapagos.  Contact your tour operator for more information on this requirement.
  • travel insurance certificate is required for travel to Galapagos.

Got a question? Get in touch with a destination expert!

What do I need to travel back to the US?

U.S. Citizens, Nationals, and Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders) returning to the U.S. by air are no longer required to undergo coronavirus testing for return travel to the U.S. If you have further questions, you can consult official information sources.

At Mashpi Lodge, your health and safety are of the utmost importance to us

By focusing our preparation, protocols, and procedures on the traveler experience, we can prioritize your safety and wellbeing throughout your time with us. A solid, capable, and proven staff handle everyday safety checks of our hotels, expedition vessels, and transportation vehicles), while our well-connected operations team coordinates details at every turn.

Keeping in mind that the world is a magical place, we acknowledge that these are uncertain times for travel. That being the case, tourism and travel experts, like us, are adapting to today’s challenges and preparing for potential eventualities, however improbable. Our greatest asset is our team, and our go-to tools are knowledge, experience, and a solid network of thoroughly vetted partners and service providers.

Additionally, our team is constantly improving via trainings, seminars, and the daily practice that comes with welcoming travelers from all over the world! Let’s take a look at some more specifics.

Safety Measures

This is what we are about. Our implementation of up-to-date safety measures in all our products and experiences goes hand in hand with routine maintenance and care for our vehicles, vessels, and properties. This is just one piece of the puzzle.

Staff training, drills, and firsthand knowledge of critical actions and operations are another important component. In the past, we’ve had to deal with unforeseen issues that have at times impacted our operations. Each of these has been a solid learning experience and an opportunity to hone our skills and strengthen our resilience. It’s what gives us the confidence to guarantee your safety and wellbeing.

Approaching your safety responsibly, with professionalism, seriousness, and compassion, means maintaining our transportation and accommodation spaces pristine and disinfected; keeping our public areas safe, clean, and clutter-free, and making sure our facilities are neat and tidy at all times.

Medical Expertise at the Ready

We take it one step further than just about all our competitors by having a medical officer available 24/7 aboard each of our Galapagos expedition vessels; professional guides with emergency medical training ready to respond to any emergency, big or small, no matter the hour, at our Mashpi Lodge; and nearby medical professionals that can arrive in an instant at our Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel in Quito, Ecuador and our Finch Bay Hotel in Galapagos.

Similarly, our teams in Peru and Colombia work with trusted providers. Their protocols and procedures have been thoroughly vetted; these include emergency protocols that we have carefully reviewed and that we trust.

Safety in Motion

Domestic Flights and Ground Transportation

Electronic, contact-free procedures are beginning to replace the more traditional or formal check-in procedures. Don’t be surprised if the next time you travel you notice personal interactions limited when strictly necessary. To guarantee physical distance, waiting areas, counters, and screening points are undergoing some pretty cool changes, too. These vary from airport to airport, and terminal to terminal. It’s an exciting time to be traveling!

On the ground, our vehicles, and personnel (including guides, luggage-handling staff, and drivers) follow a set of protocols that includes readily available hand sanitizer, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary, ample spaces and spacing when recommended, and so on. Additionally, our team takes part in regular health screening via checkups, and vehicles undergo regular, rigorous disinfection and cleaning. Sometimes, luggage is handled or transported separately by a support team.

Many of our transfer vehicles—that pick you up or drop you off at the airport—already have limited or low capacity so as to give our guests a little more personal space.

Safety at Sea

Expedition Vessels

We’ve already covered some of our most important safety measures regarding the Galapagos, where we have our three awarding winning expedition vessels ready to welcome you aboard. Here is a quick recap of what we’re doing to keep you safe at sea.

  • Onboard medical officer available 24/7, with a dedicated medical treatment and consultation area.
  • Crew member and passenger health screenings prior to boarding.
  • Latest technology (like UV filters and ozone cleaning systems) aboard each vessel.
  • Increased personal space for guests and crew, including modified public areas.
  • Excellent guest-space ratios that average well above the recommended 28.26 square feet per guest in cabin, dining, and social areas.

Small expedition groups led by Park-certified Naturalist Guides. We operate with at most, 11 or 12 guests per guide, far fewer than the GNP-stipulated maximum of 16 guests per guide.

Safety at Rest

Our Hotels

The numerous team members at each of our hotels (Casa GangotenaMashpi Lodge, and the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel) participate in a routine health screenings at each location. Each hotel’s dining and bar areas are disinfected and cleaned throughout the day. Also, our products have always been geared towards boutique, non-massive facilities; ample spaces are guaranteed, and ventilation systems incorporate ultraviolet filters and ozone-based cleaning equipment.

It is important to note that each of our essential processes carries the environmental seal of approval for use in natural settings that are highly sensitive, like the Chocó Bioregion and the Galapagos Islands.

Our Restaurants and Bars

À la carte meals are a safer option than buffet-style meal offerings. Room service meals are always an option should our guests want to enjoy a little more personal space while having a delicious meal. Our dining spaces are naturally designed to be and feel quite ample. Our waitstaff are considerate in their use of PPE, and things like readily available hand sanitizer and appropriate distancing are good practices that we continue to observe.

Our hotels’ dining areas provide a personal space ratio 1.8 times higher than the international suggested a minimum of 28.3 square feet per guest, often averaging above 51.4 square feet per guest.

Safety while Touring Visitor Sites and Attractions

All our visiting sites are part of well-preserved sanctuary destinations. In the Galapagos Islands, when visiting any site within the GNP, you’ll always be accompanied by a Park-certified naturalist guide, and we always observe Park rules.

Similarly, within the amazing rainforest preserve at Mashpi in the heart of the Chocó Bioregion, we will continue to operate with small groups of around four guests per guide.

Also, our land tours are designed to take you to fascinating places, avoiding tourist traps and overcrowded attractions.

In conclusion…

We believe that enhancing the way we keep you safe, by incorporating new technology and better practices, helps us mitigate any potential risks to your wellbeing. We are committed to doing our very best to safeguard our guests’ health, safety, and wellbeing while showing them a unique and truly beautiful part of the world.

In essence, we create a sort of safety corridor, by escorting our guests along each part of their visit. Our goal is for our guests to feel safe and confident throughout their entire time with us, from the moment we greet them to the moment we drop them off on route to their next destination. This is something we know will add value to their experience, and it’s part of who we are.


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  • Avatar of Mary Kay Erdin
    Mary Kay Erdin

    June 12, 2020 at 1:00 am

    Thank you for all of this information. Looking forward to being at the Lodge next April, 2021.


    • Avatar of Kevin Wright
      Kevin Wright

      June 15, 2020 at 3:29 pm

      Thank you for your comment Mary Kay, we look forwards to your visit!


      • Avatar of Mary Kay Erdin
        Mary Kay Erdin

        February 23, 2022 at 4:34 pm

        Looks like we will make it to Mashpi Lodge this April 2022.


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